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Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. The eponymous series was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, with the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself. Set predominantly in an apartment block on New York Citymarker's Upper West Sidemarker (but shot mainly in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker), the show features a host of Jerry's friends and acquaintances, who include George Costanza, Elaine Benes and Cosmo Kramer. Seinfeld was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment and distributed in association with Columbia Pictures Television and Columbia TriStar Television. Sony Pictures Television has distributed the series since 2002. It was largely co-written by David and Seinfeld with input from numerous script writers, including Larry Charles, Peter Mehlman, Gregg Kavet, Andy Robin, Carol Leifer, David Mandel, Jeff Schaffer, Steve Koren, Jennifer Crittenden, Tom Gammill, Max Pross, Charlie Rubin, Alec Berg, and Spike Feresten.

As a critical favourite, commercial blockbuster and cultural phenomenon, the show led the Nielsen Ratings in its sixth and ninth seasons and finished among the top two (along with NBC's ER) every year from 1994 to 1998. In 2002, TV Guide named Seinfeld as the greatest television program of all time. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked Seinfeld as the third best show of the last 25 years, behind The Sopranos and The Simpsons.


Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David pitched Seinfeld as a "show about nothing," similar to the self-parodying "show within a show" of Season 4's finale "The Pilot." Seinfeld stood out from the many family and group sitcom of its time. None of the principal Seinfeld characters were related by blood or worked together but remained close friends throughout the seasons. The episodes of most sitcoms like Family Ties, Who's the Boss and Full House revolve around a central theme or contrived comic situations, whereas many episodes of Seinfeld focused on minutiae, such as waiting in line at the movies, going out for dinner, buying a suit and, basically, coping with the petty injustices of life. The view presented in Seinfeld is arguably consistent with the philosophy of nihilism, the idea that life is pointless.

The show's main characters and many secondary characters were modeled after Seinfeld's and David's real-life acquaintances. Other recurring characters were based on well-known, real-life counterparts such as Jacopo Peterman of the J. Peterman catalogue (nominally based on John Peterman), and George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees.

With every Seinfeld episode, the structure is mainly the way the principal characters' storyline is set. A story thread is presented at the beginning of each episode, which involves the characters in separate and seemingly unrelated situations. Rapid scene-shifts between story lines bring the stories together toward the end of the episode. Despite the separate plot strands, the narratives reveal the creators' "consistent efforts to maintain [the] intimacy" between the small cast of characters.

The show kept a strong sense of continuity—characters and plots from past episodes were frequently referenced or expanded upon. Occasionally, story arcs would span multiple episodes and even entire seasons. For example, Jerry's girlfriend appears in "The Stake Out" and he ends the relationship when things don't work out in "The Stock Tip". Other examples are Kramer's idea of a "Beach perfume" and Elaine heading the "Peterman catalog". Larry David, the show's head writer and executive producer for the first seven seasons, was praised for keeping a close eye on minor details and making sure the main characters' lives remained consistent and believable. Curb Your Enthusiasm would further expand on this idea by following a certain theme for each season in the series.

The show stood apart from other group sitcoms of the time, in that the principal characters would never learn their moral lessons throughout the seasons. In effect, they were indifferent to the outside world and can be callous towards their guest characters and relatives. It was often said that the mantra of the show's producers was: "No hugging, no learning." There were also very few happy endings, except when they came at somebody else's expense. More often, situations resolved with characters getting a justly deserved "comeuppance."

Main characters

  • Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld)—Jerry is the show's central character, a stand-up comedian who is often portrayed as "the voice of reason" amidst all the insanity generated by the people in his world. The character is a slight germophobe and a neat freak, as well as an avid Superman and breakfast cereal fan. Jerry's apartment is the center of a world visited by his eccentric friends George, Elaine, and Kramer. Plot lines often involve Jerry's romantic relationships. He typically finds small, silly reasons to stop dating women; in one episode, he breaks up with a woman because she eats her peas one at a time; in another, it is because, although a beautiful model, she has overly-large "man hands."
  • George Costanza (Jason Alexander)—George is Jerry's best friend since high school. He is cheap, dishonest, petty and often envious of others' achievements. He is often portrayed as a loser who is insecure about his capabilities. He frequently complains and lies about his profession, relationships, and almost everything else, which usually creates trouble for him later. He often uses an alias ("Art Vandelay") when lying or concocting a cover story. George was once succinctly described by Elaine as a "short, stocky, slow-witted, bald man." Despite these shortcomings, or perhaps because of them, George managed to date numerous women and achieved a successful career as Assistant to the Traveling Secretary for the New York Yankees. George's personality shortcomings usually make these successes short-lived. He fantasizes about being and occasionally pretends to be an architect and once pretended to be a marine biologist.
  • Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)—Elaine is intelligent and assertive, but superficial. She sometimes has a tendency to be very honest with people, which often gets her into trouble. She often gets caught up in her boyfriends' habits, her eccentric employers' unusual demands, and the unkindness of total strangers. A recurring theme for Elaine is her frustrating inability to find Mr. Right; she also goes through an on/off relationship with David Puddy throughout Seasons 6 and 9. She used to date Jerry, and remains his close friend. One of Elaine's trademark maneuvers is her forceful shove when she receives good or shocking news. Another is her memorable "little kicks". She is the only woman who is able to get along as one of the boys.
  • Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards)—Kramer is Jerry's "wacky neighbor" and friend. His trademarks include his humorous upright pompadour hairstyle, vintage clothing and his energetic sliding bursts through Jerry's apartment door. At times, he acts naive, dense, and almost child-like, yet randomly shows astonishing insight into human behavior. Indeed, his oddities aside, Kramer is often the only main character acting with any sort of apparent conscience, and is typically the only one to lobby for maintaining social decorum in order to appease acquaintances. Although he never holds a steady job, he often invents wacky schemes which usually work at first but eventually fail at the end. Among these are coffee table books about coffee tables (for which he appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee), and a brassiere for men called the "Bro" (or Manssiere according to Frank Costanza).

Secondary characters

There are numerous recurring minor characters in Seinfeld. The most prominent are:
  • Newman (portrayed by Wayne Knight)—An overweight and despicable, though curiously well-educated, postal worker. He is known as Kramer's accomplice and Jerry's nemesis and is a neighbor of both (Apartment 5E). He usually goes out of his way to make Jerry's life miserable. He also loves eating and being obnoxious in Jerry's apartment. He is the most frequently recurring character, from his first appearance in the show's third season through to the last episode.
  • Morty Seinfeld (originally portrayed by Phil Bruns, replaced by Barney Martin) and Helen Seinfeld (portrayed by Liz Sheridan)—They are Jerry's parents, who live in Florida. Morty is a retired raincoat salesman and famous for obstinately sticking to his convictions; Helen cannot understand why anyone would not like her son. They always feel that Jerry is not making enough money and try to help him out financially by sending him "fifty dollars." These two characters are based on Jerry Seinfeld's real-life parents.
  • Frank Costanza (originally portrayed by John Randolph, replaced by Jerry Stiller) and Estelle Costanza (portrayed by Estelle Harris)—They are George's eccentric parents. George usually blames them for his current mental state and failure to succeed in life. They are known for their violent tempers, often leading to yelling and constant verbal fights. They make many appearances from season 4 to 9. John Randolph's scenes as Frank Costanza in the episode The Handicap Spot were reshot for syndication with Jerry Stiller in the role.
  • Uncle Leo (portrayed by Len Lesser)—He is Jerry's uncle and Helen's brother. He personifies the eccentric old man and often tries to demean Jerry with comparisons to his own purportedly successful son. He has a habit of grabbing the arm of the person with whom he is conversing. He always brags about his son, Jeffrey (who never makes an appearance on the show), who works for the NYC Parks Department. Uncle Leo has several appearances in seasons 2 through 9. His trademark catch phrase is an emphatic, "Hello!"
  • Susan Ross (played by Heidi Swedberg)—George's fiancée and a former NBC executive. She first appeared in season 4 as an NBC executive overseeing Jerry and George's pilot. She and George dated for a while until she broke up with him because he got her fired. She returned in season 7 when she and George got engaged. In the last episode of this season, she dies as a result of licking toxic envelopes while making invitations to her and George's wedding. Throughout the series, Susan does not get along well with Elaine and Jerry, and dislikes Kramer due to variety of reasons. She is the most frequent recurring female character in seasons 4 and 7 and has a brief appearance again in a flashback sequence in the season 9 episode titled "The Betrayal."
  • George Steinbrenner (voiced by Larry David, portrayed by Lee Bear, who is only seen from behind)—He is George's boss and owner of the New York Yankees. Steinbrenner's face is never shown on the show. He is parodied for his arrogance and lack of touch with the realities of running of a baseball team. A recurring gag is for him to call George into his office, then proceed to ramble on about inane topics as George slowly walks out the door. In "The Invitations," the real George Steinbrenner makes a cameo appearance and goes out with Elaine. The scenes were cut due to time constraints and are available on the season 7 DVD. He frequently appears from the finale of season 5 to 9.
  • Jacopo Peterman (played by John O'Hurley)—He is one of Elaine's eccentric bosses. Peterman owns The J. Peterman Company and Elaine works on the catalog published by the company. Using the florid style of a treasure hunting adventurer, he typically announces his journeys to exotic locations in search of unique clothing. In the beginning of Season 8, he walks out on the company and escapes to Burma, appointing Elaine as the President of the company. He eventually returns later in the same season. He is frequently seen making an appearance from the finale of season 6 to season 9.
  • Kenny Bania (portrayed by Steve Hytner)—Bania is a fellow stand up comedian. Jerry hates Bania because he considers him annoying and a "hack." Bania has a tendency to describe various things (namely restaurants) as "The best!" Bania's trademark "Hey Jerry!" is often treated by Jerry and his friends with annoyance and indifference. Kenny Bania appears in various episodes throughout seasons 6 through 9.
  • David Puddy (portrayed by Patrick Warburton)—Puddy is Elaine's on-again, off-again boyfriend. He is a competent auto mechanic, but also an airhead with numerous quirks, most notably his squinting, staring, and insatiable appetite for high fives. He is known for his short, unapologetic delivery and unflinching assuredness. His trademark catch phrase is "Yeah, that's right." He is seen in seasons 6 and 9.
  • Jackie Chiles (portrayed by Phil Morris)—Jackie is Kramer's lawyer. He has a secretary named Suzy and sets up appointments for his clients with an unseen "Dr. Bison." He also speaks with a rapid-fire delivery and tends to overuse grandiose adjectives like 'preposterous' and 'outrageous'. Chiles is a caricature of Johnnie Cochran. He is seen occasionally in seasons 7 to 9

Notable guest appearances

See List of Seinfeld minor characters for a complete list of celebrities who played themselves and other guest stars in minor roles.

Besides its regularly recurring characters, Seinfeld featured numerous celebrities who appeared as themselves or as girlfriends, boyfriends, bosses and other acquaintances. Many of those who made guest appearances would become household names later in their careers, or were comedians and actors who were well-known for previous work.



Seinfeld violated several conventions of mainstream television. The show, which is often described as "about nothing," became the first television series since Monty Python's Flying Circus to be widely described as postmodern. Several elements of Seinfeld fit in with a postmodern interpretation. The show is typically driven by humor interspersed with superficial conflict and characters with strange dispositions. Many episodes revolved around the characters becoming involved in the lives of others to typically disastrous results. However, regardless of the damage they caused, they never gained anything from the experience and continued to be selfish, egocentric people. On the set, the notion that the characters should not develop or improve throughout the series was expressed as the "no hugging, no learning" rule. Unlike most sitcoms, there are no moments of pathos; the audience is never made to feel sorry for any of the characters. Even Susan's death in the series elicits no genuine emotions from anyone in the show.

The characters were "thirty-something singles ... with no roots, vague identities, and conscious indifference to morals." Usual conventions, such as isolating the characters from the actors playing them and separating the characters' world from that of the actors and audience, were broken. One such example is the story arc in which the characters promote a television sitcom series named Jerry. The show within the show, titled Jerry was much like Seinfeld, in which Seinfeld played himself, and that the show was "about nothing." Jerry was launched in the Season 4 finale, but unlike Seinfeld, it was not picked up as a series.


Many Seinfeld episodes are based on its writers' real life experiences. For example, "The Revenge" is based on Larry David's experience at Saturday Night Live. "The Contest" and "The Phone Message" are also based on David's experiences. "The Smelly Car" is based on Peter Mehlman's lawyer friend, who couldn't get a bad smell out of his car. "The Strike" is based on Dan O'Keefe's dad, who made up his own holiday—Festivus. Other stories take on a variety of different turns. "The Chinese Restaurant" consists of the main characters simply waiting for a table throughout the entire episode. "The Boyfriend," revolving around Keith Hernandez, extends through two episodes. "The Betrayal" is famous for using reverse chronology. Some stories were inspired by headlines and rumors, which are explained in the DVD features "Notes About Nothing," "Inside Look," and "Audio Commentary." "The Maestro," Kramer's lawsuit is roughly similar to the McDonald's coffee case. "The Outing" is based mainly on rumors that Larry Charles hears about Jerry Seinfeld's sexuality.


Many terms coined, popularized, or repopularized during the series' run have become part of popular culture. Notable catchphrases include "Yada yada yada", "shrinkage", "These pretzels are makin' me thirsty", "master of your domain", "Anti dentite", "Double dip", "No soup for you!", and "Not that there's anything wrong with that".

Other popular terms that also made the transition into slang were directed at secondary characters, including such descriptives as "sponge worthy", "re-gifter," "man hands," "close-talker," "low-talker" and "high-talker."

As a body, the lexicon of Seinfeldian code words and recurring phrases that evolved around particular episodes is referred to as Seinlanguage, the title of Jerry Seinfeld's best-selling book on humor.


Seasons 1 to 3

The show premiered as The Seinfeld Chronicles on July 5, 1989. After it aired, a pickup by NBC did not seem likely and the show was actually offered to Fox, which declined to pick it up. However, Rick Ludwin, head of late night and special events for NBC, diverted money from his budget, and the next four episodes ("Male Unbonding," "The Stake Out," "The Robbery," and "The Stock Tip,") were filmed. These episodes were highly-rated as they followed Cheers on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., and the series was finally picked up. At one point, NBC considered airing these episodes on Saturdays at 10:30PM, but instead gave that slot to a short-lived sitcom, FM. The series was renamed Seinfeld after the failure of short-lived 1989 ABC series The Marshall Chronicles. For the first three seasons, Jerry's stand-up act would bookend an episode, for a while even functioning as cut scenes during the show. After airing in the summer of 1990, the series' second season was bumped off its scheduled premiere of January 21, 1991 due to the start of the Persian Gulf war. It settled in a regular time slot on Wednesdays at 9:30PM and eventually flipped with veteran series Night Court to 9:00PM.

Seinfeld was championed by television critics in its early seasons, even as it was yet to cultivate a substantial audience. Early episodes such as "The Chinese Restaurant," "The Pony Remark," "The Parking Garage," and "The Subway," tended to be more realistic than the later ones, and dealt with the minutiae of daily life, such as getting stuck on the subway or waiting to be seated at a Chinese restaurant. An episode in Season 2, titled "The Bet" written by Larry Charles, showed Elaine buying a gun from Kramer's friend. This episode was, however, not filmed because the content was deemed unacceptable and was hastily replaced by the episode "The Phone Message."

Seasons 4 to 5

Season 4 marked the sitcom's entry into the Nielsen Ratings Top 30, coinciding with several popular episodes, such as "The Bubble Boy," "The Outing," "The Airport," and "The Junior Mint." This was the first season to use a story arc, in which Jerry and George try to create their own sitcom, Jerry. Also at this time, Jerry's standup slowly decline with the middle standup no longer part of the episodes that preceded it.

Much publicity followed the controversial episode, "The Contest," an Emmy Award-winning episode written by co-creator Larry David, whose subject matter (masturbation) was considered inappropriate for primetime network television. To circumvent this taboo, the word "masturbation" was never used in the script itself, instead substituted by a variety of oblique references. Midway through that season Seinfeld was moved from its original 9 p.m. time slot on Wednesdays to 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays, following Cheers again, which gave the show even more popularity. NBC moved the series after Ted Danson had announced the end of Cheers and Seinfeld quickly surpassed the ratings of the 9:00 p.m. Cheers reruns that spring. The show won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1993, beating out its family-oriented competitor Home Improvement, which at the time was a big hit for NBC's rival ABC.

Season 5 was also a ratings-hit as it consisted of many popular episodes such as "The Mango," "The Puffy Shirt" starring Wendel Meldrum as the low talker, "The Lip Reader" with Marlee Matlin in the title role, "The Marine Biologist," "The Hamptons," and "The Opposite." Another story arc has George returning to live with his parents. In the midst of the story arc, Kramer creates and promotes his coffee table book. The show was again nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, but lost to the Cheers spin-off Frasier, which was only in its first season. Seinfeld was nominated for the same award every year for the rest of its run but would keep losing to Frasier.

Seasons 6 to 7

With Season 6, Andy Ackerman replaced Tom Cherones as the director of the show. The series remained well-regarded and produced some of its most famous episodes, such as "The Fusilli Jerry," "The Chinese Woman," "The Jimmy," "The Face Painter," and "The Switch," when Kramer's mother revealed that his first name is Cosmo. Story arcs used in this season were Elaine working as a personal assistant to her eccentric boss Justin Pitt as well as George's parents' temporary separation. This was also the first season in which Seinfeld reached Number 1 in the Nielsen Ratings. Jerry's standup further declines with the end standup no longer in use as the storylines for all four gets more dense.

In Season 7, a story arc involved George getting engaged to his former girlfriend, Susan Ross, whose last appearance was in Season 4. He spends most of the season regretting the engagement and trying to get out of it. Garnering its highest ratings yet, Seinfeld went on to produce some of its most famous episodes—namely "The Soup Nazi," "The Secret Code," "The Maestro," and "The Rye" among others.

Following the anthrax scare of 2001, the episode, "The Invitations" was temporarily not shown in syndication due to the concern that it might seem objectionable and insensitive to portray Susan's death due to licking toxic envelopes.

Seasons 8 to 9

The show's ratings were still going very strong in its final two seasons (8 and 9), but its critical standing suffered. Larry David left at the end of Season 7 (although he would continue to voice Steinbrenner), so Seinfeld assumed David's duties as showrunner, and, under the direction of a new writing staff, Seinfeld became more of a fast-paced show. The show no longer contained extracts of Jerry performing stand up, and storylines occasionally delved into fantasy, an example being "The Bizarro Jerry," when Elaine is torn between exact opposites of her friends or when Jerry dates a woman who has the now-famed "man hands." Some notable episodes from season 8 include "The Little Kicks" showing Elaine's horrible dancing, "The Yada Yada," "The Chicken Roaster," and "The Comeback." A story arc in this season involves Peterman's trip to Burmamarker and Elaine writing Peterman's biography which leads to Kramer's parody of Kenny Kramer's Reality Tour seen in "The Muffin Tops."

Season 9 included episodes such as "The Merv Griffin Show," "The Butter Shave," "The Betrayal" (scenes shown in reverse order chronologically), and "The Frogger". The last season included a story arc in which Elaine has an on/off relationship with David Puddy. Despite being offered to return for a tenth season, Seinfeld decided to end the show after its ninth season.

A major controversy caused in this final season was the accidental burning of a Puerto Rican flag by Kramer in "The Puerto Rican Day." This scene caused a furor in the Puerto Rican community, and as a result NBC showed this episode only once.

Series finale

After nine years on the air, NBC and Jerry Seinfeld announced on December 25, 1997, that the series would end production the following spring in 1998. The announcement made the front page of all the major New York newspapers, including the New York Times. Jerry Seinfeld was even featured on the cover of Time magazine's first issue of 1998.

The series ended with a 75-minute episode (cut down to 60 minutes in syndication, in two parts) written by co-creator and former executive producer Larry David, which aired on May 14, 1998. Before the finale, a 45-minute retrospective clip show, "The Chronicle," was aired. However, in syndication, it was expanded to 60 minutes.

It was also the first episode since the finale of Season 7, "The Invitations," to feature opening and closing stand-up comedy acts by Jerry Seinfeld. The finale was filmed in front of an audience of NBC executives and additional friends of the show. The press and the public were shut out of the shoot for the sake of keeping its plot secret, and all those who attended the shoot of the final episode signed written "vows of silence." The secrecy only seemed to increase speculation on how the series would end. Various accounts suggested that Jerry and Elaine get married while more cynical fans favored Julia Louis-Dreyfus' suggestion that the foursome die in a car accident. The producers of the show tweaked the media about the hype, spreading a false rumor about Newman ending up in the hospital and Jerry and Elaine sitting in a chapel, presumably to marry.

The episode enjoyed a huge audience, estimated at 76 million viewers (58 percent of all viewers that night) making it the third most watched finale in television history, behind M*A*S*H and Cheers. However, the finale received mixed reviews from both critics and fans of the show. The actual finale poked fun at the many rumors that were circulating, seeming to move into several supposed plots before settling on its true storyline—a lengthy trial in which Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer are prosecuted for violating a "Good Samaritan law" and are sentenced to jail. The last conversation in this final episode repeats the very first conversation from the pilot episode, discussing the positioning of a button on George's shirt. In the finale, the characters vaguely recall having the conversation before.

According to Forbes magazine, Jerry Seinfeld's annual earning from the show in 2004 was $267 million. He was reportedly offered $5 million per episode to continue the show into its tenth season but he refused. As of July 2007, he is still the second highest earner in the television industry, earning $60 million a year. The show itself became the first television series to command more than $1 million a minute for advertising–a mark previously attained only by the Super Bowl.

Awards and nominations

Seinfeld has received awards and nominations in various categories throughout the mid-90s. It was awarded the Emmy for "Outstanding Comedy series" in 1993, Golden Globe Award for "Best TV-Series (Comedy)" in 1994 and Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Apart from these, the show was also nominated for an Emmy award from 1992 to 1998 for "Outstanding Comedy series," Golden Globe award from 1994 to 1998 for "Best TV-Series (Comedy)," and Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" from 1995 to 1998.

Ratings history

Season Ranking Viewership
Four (1992–93) 25 12,754,700
Five (1993–94) 3 18,274,800
Six (1994–95) 1 19,652,400
Seven (1995–96) 2 20,330,800
Eight (1996–97) 2 39,885,000
Nine (1997–98) 1 71,266,000

Note: These numbers represent the number of households rather than actual viewers.

The syndicated reruns of the program were regularly in the top 10 syndicated programs, and remains there as of 2009

After Seinfeld

The "Seinfeld curse"

Louis-Dreyfus, Alexander and Richards have each attempted to launch new sitcoms as title-role characters. Despite decent acclaim and even some respectable ratings, almost every show was canceled quickly, usually within the first season. This gave rise to the term Seinfeld curse: the failure of a sitcom starring one of the three, despite the conventional wisdom that each person's Seinfeld popularity should almost guarantee a strong, built-in audience for the actor's new show. Shows specifically cited regarding the Seinfeld curse are Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Watching Ellie, Jason Alexander's Bob Patterson and Listen Up!, and Michael Richards' The Michael Richards Show. Larry David once said of the curse, "It's so completely idiotic... It's very hard to have a successful sitcom."

This phenomenon was mentioned throughout the second season of Larry David's HBO program Curb Your Enthusiasm. A story arc centers around Larry David trying to convince Jason Alexander to do a show about his inability to shake the 'George' title and move forward with his career. When Larry and Jason feud over the location of meetings, Larry David takes the idea to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. They plan to work on a show called Aren't You Evelyn? but Larry blows their chances with every network they meet, causing Julia to drop the idea.

However, the Emmy award-winning success of Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine has led many to believe that she has broken the 'curse'. In her acceptance speech, Louis-Dreyfus held up her award and exclaimed, "I'm not somebody who really believes in curses, but curse this, baby!" With Louis-Dreyfus playing Christine, the show has been on the air for five seasons with above-average ratings as of 2009.

Another scene

On the November 1, 2007, episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld mentioned the possibility of shooting one last scene, after they leave prison. He mentioned he is far too busy to do it now, but did not announce what the scene would entail as it is still a possibility they will do it. In commentary from the final season DVD, Jerry Seinfeld outlines that he and Jason Alexander spoke about this scene being in Monks Coffee Shop, with George saying “That was brutal” in reference to the four's stint in jail.

'Curb Your Enthusiasm' 2009 Reunion

Early in March 2009, it was announced that the Seinfeld cast would reunite for the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The entire cast first appeared in the third episode of the season, all playing themselves. The season-long story is that Larry David tries to initiate a Seinfeld reunion show as a ploy to get his ex-wife, Cheryl, back. Along with the 4 main characters, some of Seinfeld's supporting actors such as Wayne Knight, Estelle Harris and Steve Hytner also appeared in the ninth episode at a table read for the reunion show. Though much of the dialogue in Curb Your Enthusiasm is improvised, the plot is scripted, making this the first time since Seinfeld went off the air that the central cast appeared together in a scripted show.

Consumer products

A recurring feature of Seinfeld was its use of specific products, especially candy, as plot points. These might be a central feature of a plot (e.g. Junior Mints, Twix, Jujyfruits, Snickers, Nestlé Chunky, Oh Henry! and Pez), or an association of a candy with a guest character (e.g. Oh Henry! bars), or simply a conversational aside (e.g. Chuckles, Twinkies).

Non-candy products featured in Seinfeld include Rold Gold pretzels (whose advertisements at the time featured Jason Alexander), Kenny Rogers Roasters (a chicken restaurant chain), Oreo Cookies, Ben & Jerry's, H&H Bagels, Baskin Robbins, Dockers, Drake's Coffee Cakes, Ring Dings, Pepsi, Mello Yello, Snapple, Clearly Canadian, Bosco Chocolate Syrup, Cadillac, Saab, Ford Escort, Tyler Chicken (a parody of Tyson Chicken), Specialized Bicycles, BMW, Volvo, Toyota, Tupperware, Calvin Klein, Klein Bicycles, Ovaltine, Yoo-hoo, Arby's, TV Guide, Trump Tower, the board games Risk, Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, and Battleship, Entenmann's and the J. Peterman clothing catalog.

The computers shown in Jerry's apartment are Apple Macintoshmarker and several different models were shown, although Jerry only uses his computer once (onscreen) during the entire show. Also seen throughout the show's run were many different brands of cereal. A notable exception to this pattern is the use of a fictional scotch brand called "Hennigan's." One product placement, for Snapple, was inserted as a parody of product placement; when offered some by Elaine in the middle of a conversation, the character Babu Bhatt's (owner of a Pakistanimarker restaurant named as "Dream Cafe") brother declines, calling the drink "too fruity."

The show's creators claim that they were not engaging in a product placement strategy for commercial gain. One of the motivations for the use of real-world products, quite unrelated to commercial considerations, is the comedy value of funny-sounding phrases and words. "I knew I wanted Kramer to think of watching the operation like going to see a movie," explained Seinfeld writer/producer Andy Robin in an interview published in the Hollywood Reporter. "At first, I thought maybe a piece of popcorn falls into the patient. I ran that by my brother, and he said, 'No, Junior Mints are just funnier.'"

Many advertisers capitalized on the popularity of Seinfeld. American Express created a webisode in which Jerry Seinfeld and an animated Superman (voiced by Patrick Warburton, who played the role of David Puddy) starred in its commercial. Another advertisement featured Jason Alexander in a Chrysler commercial. In this, Alexander behaves much like his character George, and his relationship with Lee Iacocca plays on his George's relationship with George Steinbrenner. Similarly, Michael Richards was the focus of a series of advertisements for Vodafone which ran in Australia where he dressed and behaved exactly like Kramer, including the trademark bumbling pratfalls.

Seinfeld in HD

There are two high-definition versions of Seinfeld. The first is that of the network television (unsyndicated) versions in the original aspect ratio of 4:3 that were downscaled for the DVD releases. Syndicated broadcast stations and the cable network TBS have begun airing the syndicated version of Seinfeld in HD. Unlike the version used for the DVD,Sony Pictures cropped out the top and bottom parts of the frame, while restoring previously cropped images on the sides, from the 35 mm film source, to use the entire 16:9 frame. lists season 1 of Seinfeld in Blu-ray, though no release date has been announced.


DVD releases

Main article: Seinfeld DVD releases
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released all 9 seasons of Seinfeld on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4 between 2004 and 2007. On November 6, 2007, "Seinfeld: The Complete Series" was released on DVD. The final season and the complete series set included a 2007 reunion of the four main cast members and Larry David.


A signature of Seinfeld is its theme music. Composed by Jonathan Wolff, it consists of distinct solo sampled bass guitar riffs which open the show and connect the scenes, often accompanied by a "percussion track" composed of mouth noises, such as pops and clicks. The slap bass music eventually replaced the original standard sitcom music by Jep Epstein when it was played again after the first broadcast "The Seinfeld Chronicles."

Seinfeld lacked a traditional title track and the riffs were played over the first moments of dialogue or action. They vary throughout each episode and are played in an improvised funk style with slap bass. An additional musical theme with an ensemble, led by a synthesized mid-range brass instrument, ends each episode.

In "The Note," the first episode of Season Three, the bumper music featured a scatting female jazz vocalist who sang a phrase that sounded like "easy to beat." Jerry Seinfeld and executive producer Larry David both liked Wolff's additions, and three episodes were produced with the new style music. However, they had neglected to inform NBC and Castle Rock of the change, and when the season premiere aired, they were surprised and unimpressed, and requested that they return to the original style. The subsequent two episodes were redone, leaving this episode as the only one with the additional music elements. In the commentary of The Note, Julia Louis-Dreyfus facetiously suggests it was removed because the perceived lyric related too closely to the low ratings at the time.

In the final three seasons (7, 8, and 9), the bits were tweaked slightly to give them more frenetic rhythms and the occasional hint of guitar. Throughout the show, the main theme could be re-styled in different ways depending on the episode. For instance, in "The Betrayal," in which part of the episode takes place in India, the theme is heard played on a sitar.

Non-original music featured in the show:
Song Artist Episode Notes
"Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" Les Brown "The Note" The episode ends with this song.
"Vesti la giubba" Ruggero Leoncavallo "The Opera" and "The Keys" It plays close to the opera.
"Parla Più Piano" (The Godfather theme) Nino Rota "The Bris" The episode ends with this theme.
Selected music from "The Barber of Seville" Gioachino Rossini "The Barber" The music replaces Seinfeld main slap bass music.
"Wouldn't It Be Nice" The Beach Boys "The Hamptons" Cover version performed by another band
Superman theme John Williams "The Race" and "The Clip Show" Played when Jerry wins the race and during past reflection of Seinfeld episodes.
Sonata No. 8 Op. 13 "Pathetique" Ludwig van Beethoven "The Pez Dispenser" Elaine laughs through this music.
"Everybody's Talkin'" Harry Nilsson "The Mom & Pop Store" George sings this song after buying a car supposedly owned by Jon Voight. Also featured at the end of the episode, when Kramer and Jerry ride to New Jersey to find Jerry's shoes. The scene is a reference to the film Midnight Cowboy, which featured the song (and co-starred Voight).
"Hello" Lionel Richie "The Voice," "The Engagement" and "The Invitations" The song shows a reflection of their life.
"Downtown" Petula Clark "The Bottle Deposit" George looks for clues about his work assignment when Wilhelm mentions the song to him.
"Morning Train " Sheena Easton "The Bizarro Jerry" and "The Butter Shave" Kramer and George in separate episodes have brief stints in going to work.
"Shining Star" Earth, Wind & Fire "The Little Kicks" and "The Bookstore" Elaine does the infamous dry heave dance to this song.
"Adagio for Strings" Samuel Barber "The Fatigues" Frank Costanza has a flashback of his days as a cook in the Korean War. This scene (and its music) is a reference to Platoon.
"Desperado" and "Witchy Woman" Eagles "The Checks" Elaine's boyfriend gets obsessed with "Desperado" while Elaine tries to offer "Witchy Woman" as "their" song (a doctor later "zones out" to the latter).
The Greatest American Hero" Joey Scarbury "The Susie" George's answering machine was to this tune but with different words.
"Three Times a Lady" The Commodores "The Pothole" Newman sings this song just before his mail truck catches fire at the end of the episode.
"Mañana (Is Soon Enough For Me)" Jackie Davis "The Blood" Appears when Kramer and Newman are making sausages and Kramer returning the blood.
"Slow Ride" Foghat "The Slicer" Elaine tunes into her bedside radio and offers up a few characteristic dance moves.
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" Iron Butterfly "The Slicer" Elaine makes an attempt to phone the locksmith.
"Mexican Radio" Wall of Voodoo "The Reverse Peephole" Kramer sings this as he is reversing his peephole. It is also featured at the end of the episode after the credits.
"Good Riddance " Green Day "The Clip Show" Behind the scenes throughout the series.
"Funiculì, Funiculà" Luigi Denza "The Maestro" Plays in the scene where Elaine jumps into the Maestro's car and he begins conducting.
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" Michael Jackson "The Clip Show" Clips of the gang dancing in the series.
"Master of the House" from Les Misérables Robert Hossein, Claude-Michel Schönberg, and Alain Boublil "The Jacket" The chorus is sung repeatedly by George throughout the episode and is eventually sung by Alton Benes in the closing credits scene.
"If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick "The Limo" George hums the tune throughout the episode, including one time in front of some neo-Nazis.

See also


  1. Gantz, Katherine. "Not That There's Anything Wrong with That": Reading the Queer in Seinfeld. In Calvin Thomas (Ed.). Straight with a Twist: Queer Theory and the Subject of Heterosexuality. Champaign. Illinois: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06813-0
  2. Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Second Season
  3. Emmy Awards official site "Sienfeld" "1993" Retrieved on May 8, 2008
  4. 1st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Official Site "Sienfeld"'. Retrieved on March 14, 2008
  5. 3rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Official Site "Sienfeld"'. Retrieved on March 14, 2008
  6. 4th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Official Site "Sienfeld"'. Retrieved on March 14, 2008
  7. Emmy Awards official site search "Sienfeld" and years "1992 to 1998" Retrieved on May 8, 2008
  8. Nielsen Weekly Top Syndicated TV Show Ratings courtesy of Nielsenmedia
  9. Susman, Gary (21-03-2006) " Has Julia Louis Dreyfus broken the 'Seinfeld' curse?" Entertainment Weekly Retrieved on 29-08-2008
  10. Season 3 DVD: Inside Look of 'The Note'
  11. Season 3 DVD: 'The Note' commentary

General references

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